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Christie’s contemporary art auction sets record in Europe

Published time: June 28, 2012 13:54
Edited time: June 28, 2012 17:54
Christie's London Evening Auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art realises £132.8M / $207.3M / €165.8M, the highest ever result for the category in Europe. (Christie's Images Ltd 2012)

Christie's London Evening Auction of Post-War & Contemporary Art realises £132.8M / $207.3M / €165.8M, the highest ever result for the category in Europe. (Christie's Images Ltd 2012)

The auction house’s post-war and contemporary art sale held in London on Wednesday earned a record breaking $207.3 million. The sale featured major artists of the 20th century art.

Art dealer Larry Gagosian described the sale as "masterpiece theatre," The New York Times says. Record prices were set for Yves Klein’s Le Rose du Bleu that sold for $36.7 million, and Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981 painting purchased by a telephone bidder for $20.1 million.

Other pricey lots featured Francis Bacon’s 1964 Study for Self-Portrait, sold to Manhattan dealer Mr. van der Weghe for $33.6 million; Gerhard Richter’s 1989 Strutur sold to a telephone bidder for $19.8 million; Lucian Freud’s 1974 Naked Portrait II, fetched $6.7 million.

The auction house sold 87 per cent of the lots. The sale attracted established and new collectors from the Middle East, USA, Asia, Russia and other locations. Yet the auction spokesperson said that Asian and Russian buyers were less active than Europeans and Americans in this sale.

On June 26 another major auction house Sotheby’s also held a modern and contemporary art sale. However Sotheby’s results were not as impressive. The sale earned $108 million with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Warrior becoming the top-selling lot. It was purchased for $8.7 million.

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